Discover the joy of nature through the Animal Embassy
Have you ever imagined that it is possible to get to know some of the most amazing species in the world without having to travel thousands of miles? Is that even an option? The answer is much simpler that one might think, if you happen to be in Tenerife. The reason behind is here you can turn this idea into a reality thanks to Loro Parque, worldwide known zoological park with the biggest and richest reserve of parrots in the world. Recognized, just a few days ago, by TripAdvisor as the No. 1 zoo in the World through their 2017 Travellers’ Choice Awards, Loro Parque has grown from a small park, a paradise for the parrots, to become an authentic embassy for the wild animals, representing the beautiful yet vulnerable biodiversity of the entire planet.
Loro Parque, being a modern zoo, understands the role and values of such institutions. One of the most important of them is raising awareness and educating the public about the problems that the animals are facing, with so many adverse changes in the nature, and the need to protect the endangered species. Furthermore, a modern zoo will participate in a number of breeding programs that, in turn, will contribute the task of conservation of biodiversity and gathering scientific information. In the long run, this labor will help the species, many times highly endangered, survive in the wild. One can easily learn more information on the subject, by simply visiting the branch of Loro Parque Foundation while on a visit in Loro Parque and learn about over 100 fascinating projects of conservation and protection of the natural habitats. To-date, Loro Parque Foundation has rescued nice species of parrots (note that loro in Spanish means parrot) directly from extinction while having improved the populations of over a hundred others.
Sounds exciting? Well, forming part of this important labour is simpler than one might think. All because that by purchasing the ticket you are contributing to helping the nature as 10% of it goes directly to the conservation projects of the Foundation. That goes without mentioning that during your visit you will be able to learn many important and exciting facts that will probably affect you in a way that you could never imagine. For example, did you know parrots have such a high intelligence that they can compete, in this area, with small monkeys? Or that gorillas are listening to classic music at night, while chimpanzees love their Disney movies, or that all adult otters take care of the offspring together as a group, all taking part in parenting the young.
The truth is that the visit to this magnificent reserve is an unforgettable experience for the entire family spending a day in Loro Parque. And nowadays even more so, with the most recent arrival of the African lions, a majestic and charismatic species that is known as the king of the animals, this worldwide renowned zoological park is opening a new world of African wildlife. Simba, along with Malika and Sarabi, now form part of Loro Parque’s family, having arrived from other zoological parks in France and Portugal, to form a new home and to represent their species as true ambassadors in the Lion´s Kingdom, the newest exhibition in Loro Parque that recreates the natural hábitat of these animals. The truth is that the lions are highly endangered species in the wild. In the last 50 years, the number of lions in Africa has declined from 100,000 to less than 25,000. Its natural habitat has been reduced to a quarter of its original area due to continuing growth of the population, and the illegal hunting has grown to be a major issue for the survival of the species. That is the reason why Loro Parque has under-taken a project in defence of this threatened species by joining a major project KAZA that allows the scientist gather information about the movements of these and other symbolic animals of Africa that help understand and protect them.
While visiting the Lion´s Kingdom and learning about the important conservation efforts going on in Africa through the informative posters, the visitors will also discover brand new aviaries with colourful birds and a new enclosure of meerkats.
As you continue to discover the magical world of nature in Loro Parque you cannot miss the spectacular and innovative aviaries of South America, a spacious exhibition with water cascades, lakes, lush vege-tation and trees, houses a dozen of bright and colourful birds from Mexico and Brazil. The innovation of the design of the enclosure is easy to notice – there are no seams in the overall protective grid that provides more space and comfort.
Another latest exhibition that one should not miss is that of red pandas, an animal widely considered as one of the cutest in the world. In the East, these animals are often called firefox due to their fiery colours and they love to climb the trees. As their natural habitats in Nepal, Tibet and other areas are rapidly deteriorating, the species currently has the status of vulnerable and requires active conservation efforts which are realised primarily by the zoological parks. Two female pandas, Annapurna and Posee, who arrived at Loro Parque from two diffent wildlife parks in the U.K. are enjoying a facility designed specifically to comply with their needs and reproducing the natural environment, including a micro sprinkler system that helps to reduce the temperature in hot days, as well as a river and even a lake so that they can enjoy a cool bath.
Earth, sea and air are merged in Loro Parque to offer a unique entertainment and educational experience. OrcaOcean, in this sense, is a unique and most modern exhibition for orcas that allows the visitors to learn more about the most fascinating predator of the oceans. Opened in 2006, it can host up to 2.800 people at a time to enjoy a show like no other. Initially starting with four killer whales brought from Sea World (United States), Loro Parque has added to the family the small Adán, born in the Park; and Morgan, a young orca rescued by the Dutch Dolphinarium of Harderwijk and that was transferred to Loro Parque following the order of the Dutch Court after it was determined by independent experts that she would not survive in the wild, and, this way, she has found a new family in Loro Parque.
Forty-four years after opening its doors for the first time, Loro Parque continues its firm commitment to protecting the rich biodiversity and this dedication is well represented in all of the aspects of the park with clear attention to every detail. In this sense and under a captivating message of conservation, Animal Embassy is a flagship exhibition that clearly speaks to the mission of the park – representing the exotic animals in need of protection, raising awareness about the importance of respecting and caring for environment, for natural habitats of the animals that habituate them. These facilities present some of the most important activities of animal welfare, conservation and education, as well as the cutting-edge research projects – more than 130 – that Loro Parque Foundation has been successfully supporting since its inception in 1994. Inside Animal Embassy visitors will also be able to observe the BabyStation, a breeding station where baby parrots in need of extra care are hand bred by a professional team of the parks. A visit to the Animal Embassy you introduce you to the ultramodern veterinary clinic with laboratory that allows our team of veterinarians to realise the preventive medicine, specific treatments, surgery, etc.
As a fundamental part of Loro Parque, Loro Parque Foundation is an international non-profit institution whose mission is to conserve wild species and their habitats through environmental educa-tion, research, responsible breeding programmes and activities with local commu-nities, etc. It was founded in 1994 and has managed to gather a large reserve that remains as a genetic guarantee for the future, in addition to carrying out numerous edu-cational actions. The sense of responsibility and respect for biodiversity has become the hallmark of the Fundación. It should be noted that 100% of the donations is completely destined to environmental protection projects that have given great results in the recovery of different species such as Yellow-Eared Parrot, Lear’s macaw, Blue-throated macaw, The Grey-breasted Parakeet or the Philippine cockatoo, among many others.
Among the many successes of the Foundation in favor of the conservation of the wild life and the promotion of a sustainable development the most remar-kable ones are the programme of recovery of the Lear’s Macaw in Brazil, the defence of the Blue-throated macaw in Bolivia, in which 1.5 million dollars was invested, the protection of the Philippine cockatoo, and studies to detect levels of toxic pollutants in dolphins of the Canary Islands, among other achievements.
In addition, the Foundation has received important awards, such as the prestigious World Travel Leaders Award 2015 awarded during the World Travel Market, Europe’s largest tourism fair celebrated each year in London. This award recognizes the ongoing efforts of Loro Parque Foun-dation in matters of biodiversity conservation and protection of natural habitats, research and promotion of sustainable deve-lopment.
This year’s budget has derived the important amount of 935.321 euros that will go to 40 projects of conservation worldwide. Among the most important actions supported are the programme for the conservation of the Blue-throated macaw from Bolivia (with 80,000 dollars); The conservation of the Grey-breasted Parakeet in Ceará, Brazil ($ 68,000); Research on the welfare of captive turtles ($ 38,900); or the conservation of hammerhead sharks in the Canary Islands ($ 20,153).
This non-governmental organisation also focuses its efforts on environmental education through the promotion of respect for nature in the local communities, which are the places where people cohabite with the animals that the Foundation protects. In addition, the aim of turning rural communities into guardians and admi-nistrators of their natural heritage is a reality thanks to the Fundación.
The genetic reserve of parrot species of Loro Parque Foundation is the most diverse in the world and, as such, is an essential resource for the international scientific co-mmunity. Several pioneering research projects have been developed by different experts and scientists, such as ar-tificial insemination, veterinary and veterinary pathologies, including research with dolphins. The objectives of sensitisation and protection of species are achieved through didactic and research projects, as well as responsible breeding programmes and conservation activities. All these initiatives are supported by various public and private entities that, committed to the work of Loro Parque Foundation, contribute every year to optimise projects, having surpassed the investment of 17 million dollars in con-servation activities around the world.
Among other achievements and recognitions obtained by Loro Parque, the recent certification of all animal’s welfare after the American Humane association award made this institution the first zoo in Europe to achieve this standard. Besides, this re-cognition coincides with the certificate of the Global Spirit company, an official Thomas Cook audit that aims to recognize full compliance with the requirements esta-blished by the animal welfare regulation of ABTA, the Association of Tour Operators and Travel Agents of the United Kingdom.
Loro Parque has also received the Tourist Merit Award, awarded by the Minis-try of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of Spain and the Gold Medal for Tourism Merit, delivered by the same ministry, as well as the Gold Medal of the Canary Islands Government, one of the city of Puerto de la Cruz and another of the Cabildo Insular de Tenerife, and more. Loro Parque is also the only company in the Canary Islands that has been recognized with the Príncipe Felipe Award for Business Excellence.
This modern zoo is currently one of the most respected and recognised zoological institutions in the world, both for its exceptional beauty, as for the excellence of its facilities and respect for nature. For this reason, the Institute of Responsible Tourism linked to UNESCO (ITR) has given the Biosphere Park certificate to Animal Embassy in 2008. This em-blem was created with the aim of promoting the adoption of sustainable practices in zoos. In this sense, it is the first zoo that obtains this recognition of international reach, which adds to the fulfillment of ISO 14000, ISO 9000 and EMAS.
Loro Parque was inaugurated on December 17, 1972 and began with facilities of 13,000 square meters, 120 parrots, a coffee shop and a souvenir shop. Presently, the extension of this park exceeds 10 times its initial size to reach 135,000 square metres and also possess the largest and most diverse reserve of parrots in the world, with 350 different species and a total of almost 4,000 specimens. Thanks to the efforts of the Loro Parque Foundation, nine species of parrots were saved from imminent extinction, among many other success stories. A true Must Visit in the Canary Islands, Loro Parque has converted, over the 45 years, into one of the most powerful magnets for tourists in the region, surpassing the total of 47 million satisfied visitors since its inauguration.